Wednesday Recipes: BBQ Sauce Edition

With Memorial Day just ahead, it’s time to start planning for that barbeque event. While grilling has become more popular over the past several years, far too many people opt for grabbing their BBQ sauce from the grocery store shelf and only doctoring it just a little bit. However, that’s no way for a real barbeque chef to operate so we have a few great sauce recipes that you can make at home on your own easily enough!

Cowgirl BBQ Sauce
Ingredients
1 yellow onion, chopped
4 celery stalks, chopped
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup water
2 cups Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup vinegar
2 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
2 1/2 teaspoons hot sauce
2 1/2 teaspoons black pepper
2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 cup liquid smoke flavoring
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/2 cup, plus 2 tablespoons molasses

Directions

Puree onions and celery. In a large sauce pot combine the puree and the remaining ingredients and simmer for 30 minutes.

Recipe via Food Network

El Sancho BBQ Sauce
Ingredients
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup ketchup $
1/3 cup tomato paste
1/4 cup yellow mustard $
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon hot sauce (such as Tabasco)
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon granulated garlic
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons hickory liquid smoke
1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup honey

Direction
Stir together first 11 ingredients in a medium saucepan. Stir in sugar and honey, and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer, stirring occasionally, 30 minutes. Use immediately, or cool completely, and refrigerate in an airtight container up to 1 week.

Recipe via Southern Living

Peach BBQ Sauce
Ingredients
3/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup kosher salt
2 cups boiling water
3 cups ice cubes
1 medium-size sweet onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1 1/2 cups ketchup
1/2 cup peach preserves or jam
2 large peaches (about 1 lb.), peeled and cut into 3/4-inch chunks
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Directions
1. Combine sugar and salt in a large bowl; add boiling water, stirring until sugar and salt dissolve. Stir in ice cubes to cool mixture. Add pork chops; cover and chill 30 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, sauté onion in hot oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat 2 minutes or until tender. Add garlic and ginger; cook, stirring constantly, 45 to 60 seconds or until fragrant. Add ketchup, peach preserves, and peaches. Reduce heat to low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 30 minutes or until sauce thickens. Add vinegar; season with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Remove from heat.

Recipe via My Recipes

Spicy Honey-Lime Barbecue Sauce
Ingredients
1/4 cup butter
1 medium onion, diced (about 1 cup)
1 (12-oz.) bottle chili sauce
1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons lime juice
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Directions
Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat; add onion, and sauté 4 to 5 minutes or until tender. Stir in chili sauce, next 3 ingredients, and 1/3 cup water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, and simmer 5 minutes. Store in refrigerator up to 1 week.

Recipe via My Recipes

Kansas City Style BBQ Sauce
Ingredients
2 tablespoons neutral-tasting oil, such as grapeseed or vegetable
6 cloves garlic, smashed
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 slightly heaping tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
Pinch ground cloves
2 cups ketchup
2 cups water
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup dark molasses
1/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons English-style dried mustard
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 bay leaf

Directions
Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the garlic, tomato paste, chili powder, paprika, red pepper, allspice, and cloves and cook, stirring, until paste is dark brick red, about 3 minutes. Add the ketchup, water, vinegar, molasses, brown sugar, salt, soy sauce, Worcestershire, mustard, black pepper, and bay leaf. Adjust the heat to maintain a gentle simmer and cook until the flavors come together, about 30 minutes. Remove and discard bay leaf before using.

Recipe via Food Network


Dixie’s BBQ hot sauce, named “The Man” by Mark Terrano
Hoisin, Chilli Sauce and Chilli Oil – Shark Fin BBQ by Alpha
EJ’s Simple Ribs and Rib Sauce by thebittenword.com

Tech Talk Tuesday: How To Be A Good Drone Pilot

Aerial photography has really taken off (pun not intended) over the past few years with photography drones becoming much more affordable and easier to learn to use. And, while there has been plenty of discussion over legalities concerning drones — should they require any kind of license to use, can the FAA regulate their airspace, and is flying one onto the White House lawn a crime or a harmless prank being top among them — there have also been plenty of articles out there about getting the most out of your photography drone and the best ways to use them. Thus far, we’ve seen them used to capture scientific images such as storms, the night sky, wildlife, and nature from a diverse range of angles and approaches as well as the “cooler” uses of them in saving images of beach scenes (para-skiing, surfing), mountain-climbing, and even school-style photography where some enterprising marching bands use them to capture shots of their half-time shows. However, none of them really focus on the faux pas a drone pilot can commit. So, to help you out, we have a few tips for you to keep in mind whenever you fire up your photography drone so that you don’t become a drone-using dunderhead!

1) Don’t buzz people, pets, or buildings — Sure, Maverick from Top Gun looked cool buzzing the tower but if you do it with your drone, you’re going to look double-plus ungood. It’s not only annoying to use your drone to swoop down on some unsuspecting person or animal, it can be dangerous. You have no idea how they might react and they could get hurt (which might cause you to run afoul of the law) or they could damage your drone (which could be expensive).


Drones let you get close but don’t get too close
2) Respect property laws — Just because you can fly your drone over gates, barricades, or other blocks doesn’t mean you should. If someone has posted “no trespassing” signs or “private property” warnings, then the general rule of thumb is not to fly your drone over them. If you do, you could be considered to be trespassing or violating privacy laws in the local area.

3) Ask if you’re not sure — If you’re going to a public park such as Yellowstone, you should ask the park rangers or the folks at the welcoming desk what the rules are for using photography drones. There may be some areas that don’t allow it due to the risk of damage to natural sites or wildlife. Fines for violating these rules can be pretty hefty, especially if you’re trying to get close-ups of the White House or Capitol building.


In some cases, it’s better to ask permission than forgiveness
4) Just because you’re in public, doesn’t mean you have no privacy — People in public areas don’t have the same expectation of privacy as the same people in their homes. However, that does not mean they have no expectation. If you’re using drones in a park, be aware that there may be rules about photographing families or children. It also means that you can’t use the drone to follow them into places that would be considered private.

5) Be aware of the weather — Drones are very light-weight. A strong, gusting wind can send them off-course very quickly. So, it’s a good rule of thumb to be aware of the weather conditions and the predicted weather for the days you’re going to be flying your photography drone around.


Turbulence from other flying vehicles can also cause problems so be careful!
Drone photography can be very fun and can get you some extremely memorable images. Just follow a few rules of common courtesy to make certain you don’t wind up being one of those drone pilots that everyone talks about — and not in a good way!


Vue aérienne rapprochée de la Grande Mosquée de Kairouan by Momin Bannani
Ano Dam by Carlos Honda
Aerial Drone and a Eurocopter HH-65 Dolphin Close Call by D Ramey Logan

Go fishing!

School’s winding down. That means that the long, lazy days of summer are fast arriving and with them come the chance for new activities on the horizon. If you’re of the outdoors bent, then fishing might be your thing! With this handy little gadget, you can take your boat out on the water and find exactly where the biggest fish are hiding out!


The only thing that would be better than this would be a fish magnet.

Throwback Thursday: Tips for the Class of 2015

Throwback Thursday: Tips for the Class of 2015

Graduation season is upon us and that means that it is time to reflect back over the days of yesteryear as we prepare the graduating class of 2015 to move on into the future. And though I am tempted mightily to simply quote the lyrics to Baz Luhrmann’s “Everybody’s Free to Wear Sunscreen,” I fear that the reference would be a bit too dated for today’s grads and I’m not certain if the WiFi networks in the area could sustain the surge in traffic that would come from all of you trying to watch the video on YouTube at the same time.

I wouldn’t want to be responsible for mass modem and router meltdown. That would not be very cool.

Instead, I’d like to just take a moment to ask you to put away the gadgets and smartphones. This class has been plugged in and connected most of their lives. Most of you cannot remember a world where the Internet was not A Thing or where “visiting social networking sites” meant going down to the local pubs. And that’s fine. The world before the Internet had its moments, sure, but the connected world is awesome. You can pick up a little gizmo that has more computing power than the Apollo 11 LCM and use it to order a pallet of steel from half a world away. You can watch television, movies, read books, carry a library around in your pocket and access the collective knowledge of humanity.

However, it does come with its drawbacks. You’ll find your work bleeding into your personal life more and more. Privacy and quiet time are things of the past these days. And some of those stupid mistakes that you’ve made in your youth? They’ll follow you in a way that the exact same things never haunted your elders.

So, as you get ready to set out and venture into life and this hyper-connected world, stop and think for a moment. Before you do something, before you commit to something, before you call someone up at 2 am, ask yourself if the technology that allows you to do what you’re about to do has disabled your manners. Having the ability to call for help at 2 am when you’re stuck in the middle of nowhere is great. Being able to call up a map and let the satellites guide you home when you’re lost is awesome. But calling your ex at 2 am to whine at them is not so cool and using stalking apps to hound someone is the opposite of awesome.

These are things that the class of 2015 will have to consider that older classes never had to wonder about. So, hats off to you guys. Now, finish updating your Facebook statuses so we can hand out these diplomas!

4 Great Gift Ideas For Your Grad

4 Great Gift Ideas For Your Grad

With the school year coming to a close, graduation is drawing near. That means that it’s time to start looking around for gifts for the grad in your life. Technology, gadgets, computers, and cameras are always a safe bet with today’s graduates. Headphones, speakers, and wearables are also usually pretty good guesses if you don’t want to go the gift card route. And, while some of these gifts can be pretty pricey, with the #DigMyOrder campaign, you could get your graduate a gift he’ll enjoy on us!

Now, without further ado, here are some innovative and creative gift ideas for that special grad in your life!

1) Fitness Watch — Everyone needs to keep track of time and their health, including your graduate. Help them do just that with one of these great activity monitors from Misfit!

2) Backpacks — Textbooks can be pretty heavy and extra-curricular activities often come with their own set of gear to boot. Then, once the school year ends, camping, hiking, and road trip time begins! Give your grad a backpack they’ll use for years to come this year and send them off to college or to the next phase of their life with a great backpack from Worth!

3) A great camera — Help your grad capture the moments that will make their life with this Canon PowerShot SX170. A good camera can not only capture the best memories that they’ll treasure for years to come, but will last them a good, long while!

4) Caffeine — Mornings can be rough for everyone, graduates included. Help your grad get up and get going in the mornings with this great Nespresso VertuoLine Coffee and Espresso Maker. Everyone needs a little boost in the morning and Nespresso can help you give your grad the one she needs.

Graduation is a time for celebrating one of life’s biggest milestones and one way to mark the occasion is with a great gift. And with the #DigMyOrder campaign and a bit of luck, you can get the best gift for your grad on us!


Hiking in the Scapegoat Wilderness – YFMP by Forest Service Northern Region
Espresso Field Guide by Stefan Leijon
Graduation Day by Md saad andalib